99% Faking It (Dating Dilemma)(7)

By: Chris Cannon


“At Clarissa’s barbecue.” He leaned toward me. “Here’s a question for your therapist mom. Why do more girls flirt with West now that he has a girlfriend?”

“Sounds like the wedding ring effect. The theory is that a woman in a bar wearing a ring will get hit on more than a woman without one. Must be some perverse sense of human nature to want what you can’t have.”

Trey walked into the lunch room, talking to a girl from the acting club. She had multiple piercings in her ears and was a master of winged eyeliner. “Do you think I should wear more makeup?”

“Why?” Matt asked.

“I was thinking about trying a new look.”

Matt’s gaze tracked mine. “Because of him?”

“Maybe,” I said. “Or maybe his cool hair made me realize I don’t have to look like every other girl in this school if I don’t want to.”

“We could go to the mall and do makeovers,” Nina said.

“Sounds like fun.”



That night I drove Nina to the mall with a mission on my mind: find a new look I liked for myself that might attract Trey’s attention.

“So why are we really doing this?” Nina asked.

“Multiple reasons,” I said. “It’s my senior year. I’ve been wearing the same pink lip gloss and mascara for two years. I’m ready for a change.”

“Your mom would tell you not to change your look for a guy,” Nina reminded me.

“I’ve been rocking the low-maintenance nerd-girl look for years. Maybe I want to try something else. And Trey might notice me, but if he doesn’t, that’s okay.”

At the mall, the girl behind the counter was more than happy to try and sell me hot pink eyeliner. Not going to happen. “How about something more normal…like blue.”

She pulled out several shades of blue. “This navy would make your brown eyes really pop.”

“Sounds painful,” I said.

“What?”

Apparently sarcasm wasn’t her thing. “Never mind. Let’s try the navy.”

I let her apply the eyeliner on my left eye and watched how she did it. Then I repeated the process on my right eye. The two weren’t a perfect match, but I didn’t do too bad. The color did make my brown eyes stand out in an I’m-not-trying-too-hard kind of way.

“We have the matching lipstick,” the girl said.

“Blue lipstick?” Nina said like she might have misunderstood.

“It’s really popular,” the makeup expert said, like she truly believed it.

“I’ll stick with gloss…something darker than pale pink,” I said.

She pulled out a burgundy tube that sparkled. I accepted the sample applicator she loaded up and handed to me. I swiped it across my lips, checked the mirror, and… Nope. “How about a color that doesn’t make me look like a vampire recently drained all the blood from my body?”

“Yeah, that one definitely isn’t for you. Wipe it off.” She handed me a cotton ball doused in makeup remover. “And I’ll find one that will work better for your skin tone.”

I swiped the cotton ball across my lips and yuck. It felt slimy and smelled like flowers. I grabbed a tissue and scrubbed at my lips. “That was gross.”

The girl frowned and looked at the pump bottle she’d used to douse the cotton ball. “Sorry, that’s the moisturizer, not the makeup remover.”

I was beginning to doubt this woman’s expertise. She must have seen the look on my face. “Sorry. They changed all the packaging and I’m still figuring out what’s what. This gloss should work for you.” She held up a hot pink tube that shimmered.

It appeared to be a more exciting version of the one I already had. I swiped it on. Still me, but amped up a bit for fun.

“You look good,” Nina confirmed.

“We have a winner.”

Nina went next, trying on a few glosses before picking one out. She passed on the eye liner. “I’m good with mascara. There are less ways to screw it up.”



After dropping Nina off, I went home to find my mom watching movies on the Hallmark Channel and eating her way through a bag of Double Stuf Oreos.

“Tough day at the office?” I asked.